I can hardly believe it’s been a week in Germany so far — so much has happened and yet there’s still time left to get into trouble (and out of it, naturally).
From Munich’s massive Oktoberfest celebration to the tiny Bavarian town of Mittenwald, a day trip to Innsbruck in Austria and now a local stay in Berlin, we’ve covered a ton of ground.
There have been some mishaps, as my traveling companion and I seem to be a magnet for issues; but we’ve managed to keep smiling and laughing our way through the frustrations.
To say I’m obsessed with Berlin, especially, would be an understatement. Here’s to the next few days of discovery and debauchery!
Guten tag! My German is limited but I’m about to get a crash course, as I just landed in Munich for a whirlwind trip.
British Airways had a steal of a deal, so I joined some friends and their friends for a full itinerary of Oktoberfest, sightseeing, day trips, Berlin, and (of course) all the beer and pretzels I can handle.
My body may not be ready but my dirndl sure is! Look out, Gracie Lou Freebush. I’m gonna play the shit out of those water glasses.
If you haven’t guessed already, I’m coming off 15 hours of travel so I’m going to take that as my excuse to get some beauty rest before the real fun begins 🍻🇧🇪🥨
I thought I was having a bad day when I woke up late, got some upsetting news, ran to pick up a custom item that TURNS OUT wasn’t ready for pickup, and a homeless man yelled at me for not taking my headphones off (because he was yelling at me).
Then I saw a woman full on face plant while stepping off the bus and I remembered San Francisco kicks all kinds of asses every single day. Mine is not special.
The shining bright light is having a circle of support I can lean on and turn to when I’m feeling low. They lift me up from the proverbial face plant and remind me what truly matters: family, friends, faith, self-care and wine.
Cheers to that!
I thought it’d be fun to capture each month’s activities and milestones in a series called Witty Rewind. It may not be for posterity’s sake, but I hope you’ll enjoy looking back at the previous month with me.
After my Whole30 high, I sadly slipped back into some old habits. It’s to be expected given my “all or nothing” attitude, but I also tried not to beat myself up too much for it. I saw some weight gain after reintroducing bread and cheese, and I scaled back on formal workouts to focus more on a StepBet at work. I feel OK, but I’ll be experimenting with a “clean eating on weekdays” approach for March. [Miles walked: 88.29]
I slowed down on reading considerably, as I’ve had to use my morning commute more for actual work time. That said, I’ve still enjoyed devouring a mix of fiction and nonfiction, from beach reads to heavier topics. Find me on Goodreads to see the latest! [Books read: 5.5]
Some highlights from the shortest (but most social) month:
- Line dancing at The Saddle Rack for a dear friend’s birthday
- Waking up the next morning to continental breakfast and a PANCAKE MACHINE
- Hosting a Super Bowl party for that snoozefest of a game
- Volunteering with the Junior League of SF and AOII alumnae group
- Lunching with former colleagues on the rainiest day possible
- (Not a highlight) Being knocked out with exhaustion and missing two events
- Attending a JLSF yoga class for Galentine’s Day
- Finding a new dentist who didn’t lecture or belittle me
- Brunching with friends… and getting a peep show from an exhibitionist neighbor
- MONSTER JAMMING for the fourth consecutive year
- Starting the apartment hunt with one of my current roommates
- Hosting Book Club as we discussed “The Last Mrs. Parrish”
- Seeing “FRIENDS LIVE!,” a drag parody of the iconic sitcom
- Celebrating the Lunar New Year parade from our annual Irish pub spot
- Toasting to many birthdays, engagements, babies, and work accolades
That about does it for me. Can you believe it’s already March?! Madness, I say 😉🏀
☠️ MONSTER JAM with one of my faves ☠️
It’s the highest holy day known as Galentine’s Day and silly me neglected to prep this post ahead of the festivities. Between an 11-hour workday, making Valentine’s for co-workers, a girls’ night out at yoga and a recurring broken circuit, I do solemnly swear it wasn’t my intention to leave you hanging.
So here are a few Galentine’s gifs to get you in the spirit, even if the day is almost over (slash already over for East Coasters). Here’s hoping you’re celebrating all the fabulous gals in your life, near and far!
And speaking of national holidays, my college bestie reminded me of today’s other important holiday:
Happy anniversary, Ryan & Kelly!
I’m sure there are worse ways to start off your week than being unceremoniously dumped, but I’m struggling to think of any right now. Better sooner than later, I know. But woof. What a week it’s been — and it’s only Wednesday.
- “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”: Caitlin Doughty’s memoir served as the backdrop for this month’s Book Club pick. It’s a dark, oddly humorous and fairly emotional look at the funeral industry and the way society acknowledges death (or doesn’t). I’m intrigued to hear what my fellow clubbers thought, but I gave it an enthusiastic four stars myself.
- Support BELWOP: One of the most selfless, giving people I know is planning a mission trip to Kenya with her church. You can read more about it on Lydia’s GoFundMe page, but I hope you’ll consider giving to a spirit so bright and selfless. Any donation counts toward helping her help others.
- Bran Flakes Visits: Another of my favorite humans on the planet is coming to visit tomorrow, and her timing couldn’t be more perfect. From working on the same creative team and exploring Panama and Costa Rica, plus volunteering on a leadership board and even designing this very WO template, Brandi and I have shared some of my most treasured experiences — and I’m sure there are more to come this weekend.
- “Let’s Generalize about Men” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: There are some real gems out there when it comes to breakup songs, but this one is absolutely my favorite right now. If you’re not familiar with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” songs, they’re often self-aware and a parody of ridiculous proportions. Disclaimer aside, I think anyone would enjoy this totally tubular jam.
My watch says it’s 7:45pm, which I fully believe after a pre-dawn wake-up in California and a nonstop flight to Florida. It’s been another whirlwind of a week, but it’s all been leading up to tomorrow, when I’ll join my dear friend Jess and her family for a four-day cruise to Cozumel.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria have changed our itinerary, but they’re not stopping us from celebrating Jess’s birthday and cancer-free diagnosis. I’ve always known Jess to be strong, funny and full of perspective, but the last year has only further proven to me how remarkable she is.
I can’t put into words how grateful I am for her friendship and being able to celebrate with her this weekend. It’s sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I can’t wait to share how much fun we had when I return!
Before we jump into this week’s distractions, I cannot sit idly by without voicing my disgust for Trump’s tweetstorm plan to ban transgender people from serving in the military. I cannot fathom the courage it takes to identify as trans and to voluntarily serve our country — then to be denied the latter for any seemingly legitimate reason. If you’re as outraged as I, please take a moment to call your representative, then sign and share this petition. To my trans friends and followers, please be reassured I admire your strength and am here to support however I can.
Now, as I’d previously planned this post… In the interest of an upcoming trip back east, I figure there’s no better way to honor it than with four Florida finds:
- #WigginOutWedding: Not that I need a reason to travel 3,000 miles per se, but my good friend Cheryl’s wedding next weekend is justification enough. I can’t wait to celebrate with her; her fiancé, Stephen; our families and friends; and to “wig out” for the new Mr. and Mrs. Wiggins! T-minus nine days to party time.
- A Snooty Statue: 69-year-old beloved local treasure, Snooty the manatee, died Saturday at the South Florida Museum. From tragedy comes triumph, though, as a petition is circulating to replace a Confederate memorial statue near the aquarium with one of Snooty. Get your typing fingers ready to sign, folks. It’s what Snooty would want.
- Aunt Amanda Babysits: Any visit home means special time with my nieces, and I’m going to be gifted with a WHOLE DAY during this particular trip. I’m hoping my mom will be on hand, too, and it’ll be a rainy day so we can just stay inside for a movie marathon. That’s realistic with a 1- and almost 4-year-old, right? Woof.
- “Sell Out” – Reel Big Fish: Truth be told, this came on while listening to Spotify’s current #ThrowbackThursday playlist. But, I can’t hear it without thinking of “cruising” with my fellow 9-year-olds and jamming to this new (to us) thing called ska. Oh, and how I’m a sellout for leaving a startup to resume my role as a corporate drone 😉
It’s the longest day of the year today, and it sure does feel like it! Not that it’s a bad thing — I am quite amazed at how we’re already well into June and don’t mind a day off feeling a bit longer.
Why am I off, you ask? Well, my HS bestie is in town for a visit and we’re taking on San Francisco like never before. We have tickets to a comedy show, a comedy drag show, wine country and more… a jam-packed 72 hours is in our future.
She even brought a little southern sunshine with her, as our temps climb into the 80s and SF residents freak the F out over the heat. I’m not immune to freakouts myself — life without central A/C is no joke.
So although it’s been a few weeks of less-than-stellar obsessions, I promise to be back at it again like Damn, Daniel next Wednesday.
In the meantime, please enjoy…
In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should know…
18. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
Well isn’t this week’s List item just a bowl of sunshine?
I could keep my response as brief as this: If you’ve mastered any of these techniques, please let me know.
Instead, I’ll do as I do, and share a few (mostly unsuccessful) experiences of my own…
My parents taught us to never quit — if you commit to something, you see it through. So perhaps this lack of practice in my adolescent years could explain why I’m quite awful at quitting a job.
Example 1: I left my college retail job for a call center job (making double what I did at the mall), only to confirm within a few weeks that I was not meant to be in customer service or scripted phone calls. I was very fortunate to find an external role just two months later, which put my degree to use and was sure to grant me more success. The problem? I needed to start with two days’ notice to my current employer. And while I knew going into the call center that I wouldn’t be a lifer, I felt absolutely terrible. I ummed and ahhed my way through a verbal resignation, hanging my head as I handed over a poorly written notice letter. Was my manager surprised? Not one bit. But I felt like a doof all the same and swore I’d never fumble my way through the experience again.
Example 2: A few years later, it was time for me to move on and pursue a relocation opportunity in New York City. This dream of mine was finally going to happen, but I had to go through the nightmare of resigning first. This time, I was able to give plenty of notice — I just wasn’t sure if my employer would grant it to me or send me packing that afternoon. What happened, instead, was a somewhat more coherent resignation speech and letter to my VP, plus a personal Facebook post that evening announcing my relocation. I didn’t specify whether or not I was leaving my company (we had an NYC office), and my post was not visible to non-friends. I came into work the next morning to a message from my VP, asking to see me. They were upset because they “hadn’t accepted [my] resignation.” They lectured me about the importance of social media and not burning bridges, but I remained baffled. I’d already signed paperwork with my next employer, and felt I’d done my due diligence by giving as much notice as possible. I hadn’t disparaged my employer in any way, shape or form; and someone had clearly shared my post with my VP for them to even see it. My heart beats rapid-fire even now, more than four years later, at the thought.
If only I’d had these articles to guide me then!
Romantic breakups aren’t much easier, I’ve found. While I’m more often the dumpee than the dumper, it doesn’t feel good to be on either side. I’ve learned to focus on my own needs, while avoiding the “It’s not you, it’s me” babble. Wanting to part ways with them doesn’t make them terrible (necessarily); it makes them not right for me. And with hindsight always being 20/20, it’s safe to say that both parties in a breakup will eventually find the relationship had to come to an end — better sooner than later, right? Right.
I believe it was in Aziz Ansari’s “Modern Romance,” and if not, he’s getting credit anyway: Break up with someone how you’d want to be broken up with. Don’t be a dick, and relationship karma will reward you, because getting dumped unceremoniously suuucks. PS: Maybe it’s the term “dumped” that makes it all the more painful. Let’s find a different word for that.
Some more helpful tips:
- How to Break Up with Someone You Love
- How to Dump Someone Like an Actual Adult
- How to Break Up with a Really Nice Guy [or Girl?]
Finally, there’s confronting a friend without ruining the friendship. Oof.
This, again, has been a struggle for me through the years. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better — in large part, because my career consists of giving and receiving critical feedback — but it’s still a hard thing to do. No one wants to make their friend feel like garbage when you’re expressing an opposing opinion or critical callout.
A recent example comes to mind: I knew one of my very best friends, whom I love and respect dearly, was planning to vote for Trump. I wholeheartedly disagreed, avoided the topic and figured we’d all laugh about this in a few years.
As the election drew nearer, then came to a close, I knew I had to say something. We live in different time zones and have opposite work schedules, so we often text first anyway to make sure the other can talk.
I approached her, first and foremost, with positivity. Our text history is too long to revisit, but I recall the conversation going something like this:
Me: I love and respect you and hope this doesn’t sound rude, but can you help me understand why you’re voting for Trump?
Her: Haha [laughing because she knows I wrote and rewrote that 20 times before sending]
Her: Explains her reasoning, which is thoughtful and not accusatory of Clinton — or me
Me: I appreciate you letting me ask… Explain my viewpoint, again without accusation or hate speech
Her/Me: When are we getting together next?
Crisis averted. We don’t need to have the same viewpoints to remain friends, although some of my peers disagree with that very statement. For me, our friendship is too valuable to let this end it — and if I do, I have a hell of a lot of family members to dissociate from.
Some ideas to manage the message:
- How to Confront a Friend — seriously, wikiHow has everything!
- How to Give Negative Feedback (Without Sounding Like a Jerk)
- 13 Ways to Communicate Without Drama
Phew! If you made it this far, I hope you’ve learned something or maybe even laughed a little.
Again, if you’ve mastered any or all of these techniques: Please comment with your tips and tricks!